Friends of Chaco - A New Mexico Nonprofit Supporting Chaco Culture National Historical Park

New Mexico oil rig - fracking

An Opportunity to Comment: Oil and Gas Extraction Around Chaco National Historical Park

Oil and gas extraction around the area of Chaco Culture National Historical Park is being proposed by The Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Friends of Chaco has expressed its concerns to the Bureau of Land Management, and we encourage you to do the same. The BLM is soliciting feedback by COB on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, but you should feel free to express your views at any time.

CulturalExchange

Five new park projects are funded by Friends of Chaco–worth $30,700

During our April Friends of Chaco Board meeting, park Superintendent Larry Turk and his staff presented us with a list of projects that would benefit from the support of the Friends. After deliberation, we decided to fund five exciting projects. We will support: Maya-Pueblo Youth Cultural Exchange: This August, a group of approximately 45 youth and elders from the Pueblos in New Mexico and Maya towns in Mexico and Guatemala will visit Chaco and two other ancestral sites–Aztec Ruins National Monument and Mesa Verde National Park–as well as  the contemporary Pueblos of Laguna, Zia, and Acoma. These special places will…

ChacoPot1

Letter from the President: After All, It’s Our Park

It goes without saying that Chaco Culture National Historical Park is one of Americas’ true treasures. Chaco connects us to our own shared history, preserves not just incredible architectural wonders, but also a peoples memory, a culture of triumph in a harsh environment. Visitors to Chaco are humbled, awed and spiritually moved.

Chaco Observatory

International Dark Sky Park

Chaco has long been considered by many night sky enthusiasts to be one of the best places in America to stargaze. Today, amidst this ancient landscape, visitors can experience the same dark sky that the Chacoans observed a thousand years ago. The protection of dark night skies is a priority at Chaco not only for the enjoyment of star-gazing visitors, but for the natural environment as well. Nocturnal wildlife relies on darkness for survival, and the natural rhythms of humans and plants depend on an unaltered night sky. By designating over 99% of the park as a “natural darkness zone”, in which no permanent outdoor lighting exists, Chaco is ensuring the preservation of these nocturnal ecosystems.

chaco-night-sky

A Dark Sky Shines Bright At Chaco Canyon

There are almost 100 miles of rural uninhabited land surrounding Chaco Culture National Historic Park in North Western New Mexico. The area has long been known as an epic place to view the wonders of the night sky. On Thursday, the park is celebrating it’s designation as an International Dark Sky Park. With virutally zero light pollution around, once the sun sinks below the horizon, visitors are engulfed in utter darkness.

Friends of Chaco Funded Telescope

Telescope Rebuild Funded by the Friends of Chaco

The Park owns several telescopes which are used for public viewing during the night sky programs. One of these, a 17.5” reflecting telescope, had deteriorated over the years. The primary mirror was still in very good condition, but the mechanical parts of the telescope originally had been built in such a manner that the telescope could be sold fairly cheaply 10 years ago when it was purchased. Private donations were secured to provide one half of the funding to purchase parts and materials to build a modern truss tube Dobsonian telescope utilizing the existing 17.5” primary mirror. Friends of Chaco…